Santa Barbara Community Academy Principal, Alicia Saballa-Santana announced she will retire on October 6, 2017 after six years of service with Santa Barbara Unified School District and 32 years in education. Saballa-Santana began her service with Santa Barbara Unified School District on September 2011 as Principal of Santa Barbara Community Academy.
“Santa Barbara Unified School District is fortunate to have had the leadership of Alicia Saballa-Santana over the last six years,” said Superintendent Cary Matsuoka. “Saballa-Santana’s compassionate and steady voice for student and parent achievement has benefited those she served – families, educators, and staff. We are appreciative of Alicia Saballa-Santana’s contributions throughout our District and wish her well in her retirement.”
Saballa-Santana, a daughter of migrant farmworkers, began her educational career as an instructional aide, advancing to become a teacher, multilingual programs coordinator, director of a migrant program, and school administrator. Her education career spans 32 years, where she served 17 years as a kindergarten through eighth grade teacher, and most recently, 15 years as a school administrator. At Santa Barbara Community Academy, Saballa-Santana is recognized for her work to strengthen parent engagement, oversee facility improvements, and help SBCA become one of the first schools to implement Guided Language Acquisition Design, an instructional model to support teachers by providing strategies to integrate instruction in English and grade-level content for a diverse, mainstream classroom.
Santa Barbara Unified School District will begin to recruit and hire for a permanent leader for Santa Barbara Community Academy. Michael Gonzalez, a former Assistant Superintendent, Principal, and Assistant Principal of Santa Barbara Unified School District will begin to serve as an interim beginning early October. Gonzalez retired in 2010, and since then has assisted the district by serving as a consultant, and most recently, as interim Principal at McKinley Elementary.
Santa Barbara Community Academy opened on July 19, 1999 and is currently located on the campus of La Cumbre Junior High School. This transition provides an opportunity to explore the synergy between these two schools. To ensure the most effective transition, Superintendent Cary Matsuoka and Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Educational Services, Dr. Raul Ramirez, will be working with staff and families to review the Academy’s year-round schedule, curriculum, and structure to determine how best to meet the needs of families going forward and to support selecting the next leader for the Academy.